For those of you new to children’s ministry, there’s something very important that you need to understand. Actually, there are many who have been in ministry for a long time who haven’t caught onto this idea. I like to call it the “Great Bait and Switch” of ministry. It’s counter intuitive from what feels natural, but if you get this and run with it, you’ll expand the scope of your influence like crazy.
Most likely, the reason you’re in ministry is because you’re good with kids. You’re probably really good with kids. You’re like the kid whisperer. You speak and they listen. They’re like play dough in your hands. There’s honest to goodness giftedness there and it’s obvious why you responded to the call of Children’s Ministry. However, what brought you into children’s ministry isn’t going to be what helps you build a large ministry that impacts kids beyond your personal influence. I’m not discounting your gift, but operating completely out of your giftedness with kids will limit your ability to reach more than than a hundred or so kids if even that. If you’re content to reach and ministry to just a hundred or so kids, then that’s perfectly fine, but if you want to see impact beyond that, you have to rely on something entirely different.
The ministry leader who impacts kids beyond his/her ability to personally influence is the leader who prioritizes developing adults who lead in the ministry. They spend less time in the limelight and spend more time pushing other people into center stage. They spend significant amounts of time developing leaders, preparing to meet with and lead volunteers and developing leaders of leaders. This leader is okay with the idea that many kids in their ministry may have no idea who they are. This is because being “known” by a bunch of kids isn’t what it’s about, but making sure that every kid is “known” is far more important.
In summary, consider Ephesians 4 your job description. As a ministry pastor/director, it is your job to equip the saints for works of service. This should be your primary task. If planning events and activities takes the bulk of your time, you’re priorities are out of order. If writing your Sunday message or writing curriculum takes up most of your time, your priorities are out of order. We must be brutal about handing off responsibilities and tasks to others so that we can do more equipping and leading and far less doing.
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